RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-28-2014, 08:18 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 442
Bent Jack


The last time we were boondocking we had the front of the coach up as far as the jacks would go to compensate for the slope. When we retracted the jacks we heard a loud "bang". I got out and checked to see if I could see anything. One of the springs had broken and the pad was left dangling. The piston was only partially retracted. I tried pushing it up with a 2x4 to no avail. We weren't going far so we drove the motorhome to storage where it is now. I'm worried that the piston may be bent or the tube. If that is the case do you have to replace the whole jack or is there something to be done to straighten it out?



2000 Alpine 38 FDS
alpinedrvr is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-28-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
RVM #74
PushedAround's Avatar

Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ambler, PA
Posts: 2,853
Blog Entries: 7
If it's bent, it's done as I have never heard of a hydraulic ram (which is what it essentially is) being successfully straightened. It may just be that the spring failed, which after 13 years is not uncommon.

Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
PushedAround is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
Senior Member
TVforMyRV's Avatar

Official iRV2 Sponsor
Overland Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 730
Blog Entries: 1
If your jacks were still in "retract mode" you should have been able to pry it up with a 2x4. There could still be other reasons why the jack will not retract. Collapsed hydraulic line (internal lining separated), or also a bad or sticking solenoid valve.

I have a rear jack that I believe is bent. It will not retract on it's own, but I can "pry" it up in retract mode. (It is very hard to pry up even with the springs installed.) To help isolate the problem, you can loosen the line fitting on the jack. If the jack goes up and pushes oil out, then you have a problem between the jack and the pump/tank unit. If the jack still won't go up with the line disconnected, then you most likely do have a bent jack.

I also have never heard of straightening a hydraulic cylinder successfully.
Don & Anita Sweger
98 Overland Larado 4141SO
41' 325hp Cummins C8.3 Nicknamed "Lola"
Owners of: www.tvformyrv.com
TVforMyRV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 255
I would replace both springs on the jack first and see what happens. Almost impossible to bend.
gatorv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Yuma, Arizona & Eagle Point, OR
Posts: 121
Is there a time limit on the jack springs to be replaced like every 8 or 10 years.
2008 Alpine 40FDQS Limited SE
2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2D 4X4
2014 Buick Enclave
Alpine Road Warrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 442
Thanks everyone.

That's what I thought on all counts! I'm going to try the springs first or maybe the pry try and then replace the jack. I'm going to pick up the coach in Mt Vernon WA next week....if it's ready. I've waited about 7 weeks now for my awning to be replaced. It took them 5 weeks of me bugging them as well as the insurance to get just the estimate for a new awning and install. I could have called CW and got the estimate in about 5 minutes! The RV place where it is now was going to fix the jack too but they haven't had enough time to do it so I'm fed up with them and will do it myself or take it to Aubrey's .

Thanks for the replies

2000 Alpine 38 FDS
alpinedrvr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 05:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Edmonds, WA
Posts: 813

Who is (not) doing the work in Mount Vernon? We've found Action RV in Burlington to be quite helpful. Also JR's in Sedro-Woolley.
Janet and Todd Legg
2006 Alpine Apex M-40FDQS #75594
2014 Honda CRV w/navi
Janet and Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2014, 08:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Olympia
Posts: 749
I-5 Uhlmann's RV in Chehalis replaced my jacks a year ago. They were prompt and did good work. I have nothing but good to say about them. BTW, they have been my go-to place for repairs for the last 6 years.
'99 Alpine Coach
Jeff and Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 442
Hi Janet and Todd and Jeff

Thanks for the recommendations. As for who is not going to be doing the work on the jacks I don't really want to say but they are a large outfit with 5 locations to "serve" you but they don't have a location in Poulsbo which is odd as that is part of their name! They called yesterday and told me that the awning is on and isn't that great and now they have to look at the jack situation. It seems to me that as I took the motorhome in on April 14th for the estimate and the 22nd to start work on it that they had ample time to check out the jack.

It may be that I am the only one who had a bad experience but I'm not having them do anything more for me ever.

BTW in case anyone is thinking that the awning may have been backordered hence causing the delay by the dealer, I called Dometic and asked them if an A&E Power Awning was in short supply. They answered that if they receive the order today it is built tomorrow and shipped the next day.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. I'll let you know what eventually happens with the jacks.

2000 Alpine 38 FDS
alpinedrvr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2014, 11:19 AM   #10
Senior Member
D Lindy's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,636
This is why a carry a bunch of 2x10's of different lengths to put under the tires so as not to force the jacks to take more of a load then they need to.
2012 Journey 40U (Our Incredible Journey)
2008 Dodge Dakota(TOAD) 2005 Honda Shadow in TOAD
AF-1 braking system
D Lindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2014, 02:59 PM   #11
Senior Member
wa8yxm's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 24,023
Depending on the make of jack the pad has some "Wiggle" to compensate for not hitting the ground squarely. With the spring broke, the "Whiplash" effect likely moved it on its ball mount to the maximum tilt..

Pushing it up with a plank is very hard to do and the piston is likely in good shape.. Try this.. Using a floor jack, jack it up an inch or two, then hit RETRACT, it should go up a bit,, Do it again and again and odds are it will fully retract.. (You can use a bottle jack if you have the room but a floor jack is way easier to use If you put the jack under the low edge of the pad it may flatten it out some too.

DO NOT GET YOURSELF UNDER THE JACk or under the RV if you raise it more than 2 inches per retract. Jack can pop off the base and .. Well that would hurt.
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2014, 03:10 PM   #12
Junior Member
ozzy Larsen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24
I had the same thing happen last night setting up. A bang and while checking found that the cylinder had moved out through the two bottom bolts holding the cylinder to the frame. That is, the plate attached to the cylinder had gone through the bolts creating a bigger hole. I am now on 3 cylinders with a mountain of blocks on the right front. I will have some work to do before our next trip.

The other front cylinder will not retract at all without using a lot of convincing. Not sure how to fix that.

Looking forward to the expertise and advice from others. I have an HWH system on a '00 coachman mirada 340mbs
ozzy Larsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 442

Well I was able to retract the jack and not bent. I did the manual retraction procedure and used a galvanized pipe to "help" bring it up. I'll be ordering the new spring kit shortly and then will have to figure out a way to install them without busting my jaw! One thing to keep in mind if you do have to manually retract is that when you turn the T-handle counterclockwise around 3 turns it will be easy and then you feel some resistance. You have to turn a little more as that is when the valve actually opens. This is explained in the manual but easily ignored as your tendency is not to turn too far so that the handle doesn't fall out!

Thanks for the help

2000 Alpine 38 FDS
alpinedrvr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2014, 05:14 PM   #14
Senior Member
Old Scout's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,595
Cheap trick--push washers between the spring coils [pry old spring coils apart/bend new one]. As you add more washers to each side the length of the spring increases. Once hooked inplace, just use pliers to pull out the washers......

Old Scout
2003 Alpine 40' MDTS
New Braunfels, Texas
Old Scout is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sticky leveling jack Shadow520 MH-General Discussions & Problems 15 10-28-2014 06:17 PM
HWH rear jack issues. Stevetoo Class A Motorhome Discussions 6 05-21-2014 11:16 AM
Bad leak in leveler jack hose gdwooden Forest River Owners Forum 1 04-30-2014 11:24 PM
Bent bedroom window frame jams window SteveNJanet Class A Motorhome Discussions 2 04-04-2014 12:24 PM
Front Jack Update bdpreece Monaco Owner's Forum 1 02-13-2014 06:30 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.